07/03/2013 1:38PM

Orb has first work since Belmont Stakes at Fair Hill

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Barbara D. Livingston
Orb is likely to skip the Jim Dandy and go straight to the Travers.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb on Wednesday took his first serious step toward the second half of his 3-year-old campaign by working three furlongs in 36 seconds over the dirt surface at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland.

Trainer Shug McGaughey, who was not at Fair Hill for the work – Orb’s first since his third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes – said all reports were good from exercise rider Jennifer Patterson, who did work the colt.

“Jenn was very pleased,” McGaughey said. “He’s down there with Bruce Jackson and he was very pleased. All things are moving along forwardly.”

McGaughey said that his current plan is to skip the Jim Dandy on July 27 and train Orb up to the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24.

“I’m planning on training to the Travers but that could change,” McGaughey said. “I don’t want to get into anything and throw away all we accomplished in the last 3 1/2 weeks. He’s getting his energy level back, he’s put on quite a bit of weight. His attitude is really good. I don’t want to take one step forward and two back. I want to take three forward.”

Orb, who finished fourth in the Preakness, has been at Fair Hill since June 9, the day after the Belmont Stakes. Initially, McGaughey wasn’t going to keep Orb at Fair Hill very long, but reports from Jackson, a former trainer who manages Fair Hill, have been so positive, that he elected to extend Orb’s time down there.

“Bruce Jackson was telling me he is doing awful good down there and there’s a lot more that I can do with him there than I can here,” McGaughey said, referring to Belmont.

While at Fair Hill, Orb has taken advantage of the hyperbaric chamber while also getting daily salt water spa treatments on his legs. Orb takes mile walks to the track and back and, on days when the dirt surface is wet, he can train over the all-weather Tapeta surface.

McGaughey said that Orb would work again at Fair Hill once or twice more before moving up to Saratoga in mid-to-late July.

* McGaughey said Point of Entry, who suffered a condylar fracture to his left hind leg winning the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Day, is walking twice a day at Niall Brennan’s farm in Ocala, Fla., following surgery.

McGaughey said Point of Entry will walk for another three or four weeks before starting to jog. McGaughey remains hopeful that Point of Entry could return for a late fall campaign.